For Money Changing, 1248
The intricate art of money-changing was a business requiring a large capital of
anyone wishing to enter it. The provisions of this contract are unusual, and sufficiently
illuminating to justify careful study.
May the twenty-second in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord, 1248.
I, Bernard of St. Victor, son of Peter of St. Victor, with permission of my father who
was present, wished, and assented to it, acknowledge and confess to you, William Sansier,
that I have had and received in partnership from you 125 pounds in mixed money now current
in Marseilles, renouncing, etc. In this partnership I ought to put fifty pounds of my own
money, and I ought to exercise the art of money-changing for the partnership and to work
for it on the advice of yourself, from the next feast of Pentecost for two complete and
continuous years, and I should have half the profit which God permits me to make by the
said partnership. I should also have fifty solidi every year over and above my half of the
profit, and you should have the other half of the profit. I promise by this agreement to
look well and faithfully after the affairs of the partnership and to do business for it as
well as I am able and as well as I know how. And I promise to repay you the 125 pounds
with half the profit, as has been said, at the end of the stipulated two years, and to
come to a proper reckoning with you whenever you please and to tell you the truth and to
be faithful to you in all things, and to carry the joint capital nightly to your house,
pledging all my goods and renouncing the protection of all laws, etc.
To this, I, the said Peter of St. Victor, father of the said Bernard, do agree and
pledge myself to you, William Sansier, as debtor to you for all things agreed and done by
my son under pledge of all my goods both present and future, renouncing the protection,
From: L. Blancard, ed, Documents Inédits sur le Commerce de Marseille au Moyen Age,
(Marseilles: Barlatier-Feissat, Pere et Fils, 1884), Vol. II, p. 182, reprinted in Roy C.
Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee:
The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, September 1998